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More forest land for projects after PM intervention 

 

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 22, 2012

The Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has agreed to divert additional 25% forest land that was earlier categorised as no-go area for setting up projects concerning infrastructure ministries such as power, road and coal. This is after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) stepped in and pushed the ministry to fast-track project clearances.

Government sources said the move has come as a huge relief for the industry, as around 30-50 projects will now be taken up for consideration. It will also provide access to some of India's best sites for natural resources deep inside forests in tribal areas. "We are working on the finer print," an official said.

Moreover, the ministry has said environment clearance for projects will come in 60 days and forest clearance in 180 days after all the documents are submitted. The environment ministry has also listed priority projects for consideration of its Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), which is mandated to examine each project with respect to its environmental impact.




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